Start Getting Healthy Nutrition Series Part 4: Aspartame

In The Start Getting Healthy Nutrition Series we looked at the dangers of sugar and how this substance has caused a massive change in our health and well-being.

People will always have a sweet tooth and I understand that. The problem is instead of reaching for that sugar based drink sugar-free alternatives become the choice.

You may want to reconsider grabbing that Diet soft drink thinking that something that has zero calories will not impact your health in a negative way.

ASPARTAME: THE MOST WELL KNOWN ARTIFICIAL SWEETENER

Aspartame is going to be the most recognized artificial sweetener but artificial sweeteners exist as many brands and varieties including

  • NutraSweet
  • Equal
  • Sweet N’ Low
  • Sweet Twin
  • Sugar Twin
  • Splenda
  • Sunnet
  • Sweet One

So what does an artificial sweetener do in the body? In the case of Aspartame it is made up of ingredients that include methanol that converts to formaldehyde in the body which has been linked to retinal damage and birth defects. The combination of these ingredients act as ‘ excitotoxins ‘ in the body and can cause potential nerve damage in the brain and can be connected to long term illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, brain lesions, Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

Simply put an artificial sweetener is a chemical creation unrecognized by the body and capable of creating some concerning issues.

DIET DRINK AND WEIGHT LOSS

Clearly the main reason behind and product or drink with the word “diet” in the name is looked at as a partner to weight loss. You will be surprised to find out how these chemical sweeteners can actually compromise your weight loss pursuits.

When your body consumes an artificial sweetener the sweet taste signals that some amount of calories are on the way. When these calories are not received the body then starts to crave what it feels it was teased with. This can lead to carbohydrate and sugar cravings which can cause havoc in a person’s weight loss pursuits.

Also in conjunction with that artificial sweeteners have addictive properties and lead to a person craving another diet drink not long after already consuming one. Put all this together and you have a vicious cycle of addiction and cravings that go round and round and round.

CHEMICAL SWEETENERS ALL AROUND US

As of 2014 Aspartame can be found in over 6000 products. What is concerning is that amount of products where chemical sweeteners are not even disclosed. Traces are even being found in some milk products

This should make it more clear than ever to focus on eating real foods. You will not find aspartame in carrots. Nor will you find any artificial sweeteners in a big bunch of spinach.

Stick to the foods that do not need anything added in to them and start to get a better grasp on your health.

The last of Healthy Eating Series will focus not as much on a specific food but something that can cause just as much damage to our health if not properly managed: Stress

College Football Conference Expansion

Since 2011, the College Football landscape has begun to change rather dramatically. A couple of dominoes here and there and suddenly one conference may be non-existent soon while other conferences will continue to dominate.

We take a look at the changes and shuffling that have occurred over the past year and some of the expected changes that will occur over the next few years as well.

2011 Changes:

Big Ten added Nebraska from Big 12

Adding Nebraska gave the Big Ten 12 teams (makes sense?) which meant they could hold a conference championship. The B1G (as it is referred to from their new logo) would divide the conference into two divisions – Legends and Leaders.

In 2011 Nebraska lost in the Capital One bowl to South Carolina. Give them a year or two to recruit the right players and Nebraska should become a yearly threat in the Big Ten.

Pac 10 became PAC-12

PAC-12 added Utah from Mountain West and Colorado from Big 12

The PAC-12 commissioner Larry Scott had grand aspirations for expansion. Ultimately the conference settled for Utah and Colorado, two nice additions. But they pursued Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech as well. That would give the conference 16 teams. However, due to Texas creating their own channel, the Longhorn Network, the deal fell apart, those four teams remained in Big 12 and the Pac 10 became 12. Like the B1G, the Pac-12 now gets to have a conference championship game.

Utah and Colorado both had rough first seasons, although Utah actually finished the year one win shy of a PAC-12 title game appearance (that says more about the PAC-12 south than Utah).

Colorado got their first PAC-12 win over Arizona, who had fired Mike Stoops.

Big 12 lost Nebraska and Colorado

Losing Nebraska hurts for rivalries and tradition. Texas and Oklahoma were both big rivals of Nebraska. Colorado won one Big 12 championship in 2001 and other than that were never much of a threat. The conference already has replacements lined up. Contrary to the Pac 12 and Big Ten, the Big 12 lost their conference title game and did away with divisions for 2011.

Without Nebraska and Colorado the Big 12 played a round robin schedule. There was no championship game for the first time since the conference existed. There was, however, a de-factor title game featuring Oklahoma and Oklahoma State the final week of the season. The winner of this game won the Big 12 and went to the Fiesta bowl

Mountain West added Boise State, lost Utah and BYU

The Mountain West is not a “BCS conference” but has always been highly respected. Utah has been to, and won, two BCS bowl games so losing them hurts the conferences credibility a little as does BYU. BYU decided to declare their independence from conferences while Utah bolted to Pac-12. They added Boise State from the WAC. A big gain as the Broncos, like Utah, have also won two BCS games so they added some instant credibility right back. Their stay won’t last long though as Boise State is expected to bolt for the Big East. TCU was due to go to Big East but will instead go to the Big 12 in 2012. The conference could have included Boise State, TCU, BYU, and Utah – and been a very legitimate conference. By 2013, none will remain.
Boise State went 11-1. Their one loss came in conference to TCU, due to a failed field goal attempt. The Broncos would go on to win the Las Vegas bowl against ASU

WAC lost Boise State

As documented above, this is a big loss for the conference. They still had Hawaii, Fresno State and Nevada in 2011, but losing Boise State is a big deal. Especially because they provided BCS revenue to the conference and its team.

2012 Changes:

Big 12 adds TCU and West Virginia, lose Texas A&M and Missouri

Texas A&M bolted the Big 12 for the SEC the first chance they got. The SEC needed an even number of teams so they took Missouri as well, despite the fact that Missouri is not relatively located to any of the teams. Texas A&M has a long-standing rivalry with Arkansas. TCU is a perfect addition for the Big 12. TCU can instantly create natural rivalries with fellow Texas teams – Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor. TCU has proven in recent years they can play with the big boys. They knocked off Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl in 2010. As for West Virginia, they don’t exactly fit the geographic bill but they provide a rabid fanbase and a good bit of tradition. West Virginia will embrace their southern roots and ultimately be a better fit in this conference than playing Big East teams. Head coach Dana Holgorson was Oklahoma State’s offensive coordinator a few years ago so he has experience in the conference and should be able to guide the Mountaineers to success.

Big East loses West Virginia, adds Temple

West Virginia was consistently one of the top teams in the Big East over the past few years. Their success and reputation is a crushing blow to a conference that already gets very little respect. The top teams in the Big East entering 2012 are Cincinnati and Louisville, two teams who joined the Big East 6 years ago. West Virginia’s departure was not simple. They demanded an immediate exit to join the Big 12. Pittsburgh and Syracuse are leaving the conference after 2014, they are following the 20-month exit rule the Big East has. West Virginia basically sued to avoid that rule and are now gone.

So moving on, the Big East needed an immediate replacement so they can remain at eight teams. Temple, who used to be part of the Big East until they got kicked out, has rejoined the conference. The Owls football program is very respectable now, unlike the past where it was more of a joke.

Mountain West: Add Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada. Lose TCU

The conference, as we discussed earlier, could have had several BCS contenders. Losing Utah, BYU, and TCU hurt and they are expecting to lose Boise State in 2013. But the Mountain West aggressively raded the WAC. Fresno State, Hawaii, and Nevada, all friends of Boise State’s from the past, have now joined the Broncos in the Mountain West. All three add a little more credibility and compeitiveness and leave the WAC fairly dry.

MAC: Add Umass (previously FCS). Lose Temple

Temple has been rather competitive the last few years but losing them is not a major loss. Adding Umass is an interesting move. It opens the MAC up to the New England area market and adds a brand new team. The Minutemen likely won’t be very competitive for a few years.

Sun Belt: Add South Alabama (previously Independent)

WAC: Add Texas State and UT-San Antonio. Lose Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada.

The WAC lost Boise State in 2012 and now losing Fresno State, Hawaii, and Nevada might kill the conference.

2013 Changes:

ACC adds Syracuse and Pittsburgh

There is a strong possibility this move happens in 2013. The Big East wanted to hold them to a 20-month exit clause but after letting West Virginia leave early, the conference may waive the clause. This is probably the one move that has more to do with basketball than football. Syracuse’s football program has been down for a few years now as has Pittsburgh, who are on their third full-time coach in three years.

Big East adds Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU, UCF, and Memphis. Add Navy in 2015

The Big “East” will add a team from California, Idaho, and two from Texas. The Big “East” will have two divisions – East and West. There will be a conference called Big East West. Got it? No? We don’t really get it either. It’s all about money though and there is money to be had with television revenue in the Big East, more than Conference USA or Mountain West.

Boise State will provide the Big East with a constantly ranked team and BCS contender

San Diego State will simply provide headaches for teams like Rutgers, South Florida, Uconn who have a long ways to travel to play the Aztecs.

Houston needs to continue the momentum gained from QB Case Keenum. The Cougars lost the C-USA title game in 2011, had they won they likely would have played in a BCS game. Head coach Kevin Sumlin is gone and so is Keenum but the Cougars should be well-equipped to compete in the new Big East when they get there.

SMU is a storied program with a lot of history. After being down for a while, head coach June Jones has led the Mustangs to two straight bowl games.

UCF will instantly rival USF as they become the second Florida school in the Big East.

Memphis does not have much history as a football program and bring a lot to the table for basketball. The Tigers do re-unite with former C-USA foes Louisville and Cincinnati and can create rivalries with them.

Navy runs the triple option offense

Sun Belt adds Georgia State and Texas State

C-USA adds Charlotte (2015 fball), FIU, Louisiana Tech, UT-SA, North Texas

Breaking the Barrier: EMT Online Training Now Possible

EMTs or emergency medical technicians are often confused with paramedics. To differentiate, paramedics have more advanced skills and education as compared with EMTs, though they do belong in the similar medical occupation.

To be an EMT means to be strong both physically and emotionally. Some patients cannot be saved and this is what an EMT has to accept, making the demanding job an even harder one.

After a few years on the job, one will realize that being an EMT is not at all that easy. This is what makes an EMT a person to look up to – to idolize someone who has the strength to not only be physically fit but emotionally strong too.

Injured soldiers during the Civil War are to ambulance teams as medical emergency technicians are to wounded patients. United by the goal to save lives, the medical emergency services was borne through the efforts of various businesses who worked closely to help the injured community. From JFK to Lyndon Johnson, initiatives were put into place to formalize and determine the EMS program which in turn, gave birth to EMTs, paramedics, and other related careers.

As emergency medical technicians remain to be recognized as part of the medical team, more and more people enter this part to fulfill their dreams of saving lives, helping the injured, and assisting the elderly. For those employed as Medical Emergency Technicians, they continue enrolling in advanced courses to receive higher degrees while some still prefer to work voluntarily.

As the industry continues to grow, Emergency Medical Technicians are expected to rise to 14,800 in 2014 – a total growth projection of 26.5% – according to a report released by the Labor Market Information Division, as seen in EMTAdvice.com’s site.

To add to this, roughly 43,000 EMTs work in California alone – as stated by the Emergency Medical Services Authority. Now that there is a growing demand for Emergency Medical Technicians, this estimate is predicted to rise in the future.

Not everybody can be physically in attendance during EMT training as some hopeful EMTs are too busy with other activities and jobs. Ideal for those who cannot go to universities to get their EMT certificates, Emergency Medical Technician training online is now being offered by reputable emergency medical services companies.

Because of the convenience it offers, it is easy to assume that training to become an Emergency Medical Technician through the Internet is easy but the truth is, classes are just as difficult as those in universities. EMS companies provide reading materials and hand out exams to check out the knowledge of students.

5 Healthy Snacks For Fit, Fierce and Fearless Females!

When you eat prime foods… a prime body naturally follows. F4 has 5 “OMG Awesome” snacks to satisfy all your cravings! And the best part is that they’re under 300 calories! The perfect snacks to keep your energy up and weight down.

1. ENERGY BOOMERS

Berries: these are great for fruit lovers! You need to have enough low sugar fruits in your diet to keep your memory and concentration sharp. Berries are high in fiber, helping you feel fuller longer and will give you the energy you need.

2. BONE BUILDERS

Almond Milk or Coconut Milk: Including calcium in your diet is an essential component for all women. You need approximately 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day to help maintain your bone mass. Also including calcium rich foods such as spinach and broccoli can help you shed belly fat!

3. DISEASE WARRIORS

Fruits and Vegetables: Munching on fruits and veggies such as apples, spinach, and berries are linked to reduce the risk of heart disease. In addition, the calcium, potassium, and magnesium contained in veggies and fruits may help lower blood pressure.

4. Belly-Fat Burners

Coconut Oil: Providing an excellent “fuel” for your body and supporting a strong metabolism that can aid in weight loss.

5. Heart Boosters

Dark Chocolate: According to research dark chocolate decreases blood pressure. So finally a real good reason to eat chocolate! Moderation is the key!

So ladies, start planning your meals in advance, start eating frequently, and stick to these healthy snacks and you’ll be feeling and looking healthier than ever in 2014!

Present And Upcoming Trends In The Automotive Industry

Most of the people believe that there are prolific opportunities to improve and update old set of laws. Change is the greatest need of the present time. It does not matter about which field we are talking about, what matters is the progress in the existing technology. It is the wish of the customers which motivates the engineers and even brands to come up with something innovative. This makes people contended making their life easy. One such field, which always gains technology enthusiasts attention, is the automobile industry. Trends in the aftermarket automotive and automotive industry have changed a lot if compared with the previous year. There are certain changes that I have noticed about the varying trends.

Latest Technology In Use: Connecting vehicle through the mobile phones is what made people surprised when this idea was launched. This is possible through GPS/SAT-NAV and multi-media organization. It plays a major role in security and improved functioning of the automobile. The 4G internet access in the cars through Wi-Fi is the biggest innovation that GM motors and AT & T have made in the past year. This technology makes your cars a rolling Wi-Fi spot. Such innovation provides excellent streaming video pleasure in the rear seats, harmonized updates, quick application downloads and make available with the potential to use 4G service for improved vehicle protection. Cars are also equipped with sensors that will prevent collision by automatically applying the brake or alerting you with several signals.

Security of the automobiles has increased a lot with security software installed in them. The software makes these vehicles connected to customer care centers of the particular brand which help the driver anytime when they need their help. Moreover, ambulance and police will be automatically called if your vehicle is met with an accident. It is your car, which will dial the numbers alerting them to help you at the site of the accident. It seems like impossible, but it is actually possible. Several concept car ideas are also launched in this year by different brands. McLaren P1 and La Ferrari made people surprised with their beauty and grace. Several such cars with fantastic features were launched, but they were still lacking in some of the areas.

Expected Technology In Future: The things which were lacking in the cars and expected to come soon are like Run-flat tires with no boom. Making them is a dream of the manufacturers. Moreover, they also believe to make such tires that will make you reach the gas station by simply pressing the button which will give extra 50 miles. Although the cost expected is quite high, but it will surely improve later. There is an increasing demand of dual-stage smart airbags that will prevent your face hitting to these bags. Moreover, these air bags affect children and hurt them most of the times. The smart systems will be installed which will consider the weight of human being and do high and low stage deployment. Although many cars are equipped with navigation system in the car dash-board, but they have not reached up the expectations. Car buyers and manufacturers both aim at making a portable navigation arrangement that will give live traffic reports, weather reports, security control and many more.

Surround sound system with clear and luxury sound quality is what people looking for. There is another thing that is important for the safety point of view your vehicle. This is active cornering headlight system. An automobile with “smart” headlamps that can take automated data from steering angles and speed and twist the main beams of the car headlamps toward the turning road ahead. Such a thing is present in luxury cars, but normal cars with this feature are very much in demand. Rear view camera has become the need of the present time as it gives ease in driving and parking, of course. Some SUVs have been outfitted with this feature and customers are expecting other brands to take over it in their cars. Blind spot detection is like a need that car lovers want in their vehicle. It will warn you when you are driving close to the driver in the other lane. You will hear lots of beeps unless you bring it back to the correct place with proper distance between both the automobiles.

Luxury Features in Small Cars: What matters to brands is their pride and reputation. There were the companies which stuffed the ingredients of the superior automobiles in the smaller version and will also do the same in coming models. These include Mercedes-Benz stuffed S-class features into smaller new models such as the 2014 four-door CLC coupé, 2013 A-class and the 2015 Cadillac and CLC crossover and frolicsome wagon sidekick. In the same way, Audi and BMW are also planning the same breaking the taboo. The biggest challenge for these companies is to keep up the prices of these cars in the range of affordable ones.

Compelling Designs: Bruno Sacco for Mercedes-Benz, Claus for BMW and many more names are there which had excellent designing in the past year. Many brands had attention-grabbing decorative and pleasing to the eye elements that took priority over style and proportion. These include garish LED fireworks, influencing cut lines, in-your-face grille treatments, mix of chrome, matte and all-black paint. All these made a trend and cars with such colors are only seen on the roads. Audi has selected a bizarrely static, cookie-cutter, one-look-fits-all approach for the crossover and sedan lineups. On the other hand, Mercedes switched to refined timelessness for ostentatious tastelessness. Volkswagen is also not behind in the race of features as it is all about functional, straight-edged and nice-to-touch designs. One can see a great designing and styling in the Ford that is best represented through the elegant exteriors with flamboyant cockpits.

Automatic Character: The science fiction is also made possible in the past year as Artificial Intelligence application was employed in wheels. Now the fleet of the cars steers, accelerate automatically. There are several issues that have been resolved in the present cars, and now they have sonar, radar, cameras, and laser-based light detection and ranging technology. Moreover, there is no user-acceptance issue and they are ready to come into the marketplace top serve the needs of the people. The next aim is of autonomous driving where the companies want to make accident proof vehicles with the last goal of complete accident evasion.

There might me several other trends that are presently there in an automotive industry or about to come in the following years. People like to see changes with time and their expectations will keep on increasing. Auto experts and manufacturers have to cope up with the demands and bring something new every time. These trends do no stand still and keep on varying with time. They must be improved or altered keeping in mind the reasonable price as the top most priority.